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Opinion

Natasha Akpoti and Reno Omokri: Setting the Records Straight by Fejiro Oliver

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Until President Muhammadu came onboard, the name Reno Omokri was unknown in both the social media and political scene. Only few digital savvy persons had an idea of who he was. He was not only politically unknown but also unknown in the social media space, despite being the new media adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The only incidence those of us who have been active on social media for years remembered him for before Buhari’s coming onboard was his infamous using of a moniker called Wendell Simlin which he stole from his brother-in-law son, to send out a mail to journalists where he lied against the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of been a Boko Haram sponsor. This lie of his in 2014 was busted by digital social media activists and Wendell went silent.

As social media aide to Jonathan, he had all the opportunity in the world to market the former President agenda and achievements but he never did. Reno as one of the aides who worked under late Oronto Douglas office, I’m privy to the fact that all he did while in office was to eat, sleep and read bible in public, while dumping it as soon as he gets home, so as to paint the idea of himself being a ‘holy man’ in the public.

I remember vividly that when volunteer social media influencers working for Jonathan tag him on Facebook to even comment or give them factual information to work with, this same Reno who has turned to a social media bulldog today, will tell them that his social media handle is meant for propagating the gospel and not to preach politics. Today, the social media handle that was for Christ then is now dedicated only to attacking the women folk and Buhari’s misguided government.

During the 2015 election heat, this same Reno ran a popular poll on Twitter asking Nigerians who they will vote for. Before his very eyes, Buhari was winning the poll until some PDP social media strategists had to start sending out messages for Jonathan’s supporters to come out to vote for him in the online poll. When Jonathan began to win, May Ubeku, a famous social media user called on Reno to quickly end the poll and declare Goodluck the winner, to tilt the voting pattern on the main election day, but today’s barking Reno refused and before one could say Jack Robinson, the news was everywhere on how Goodluck Jonathan lost an online poll conducted by his own aide.

Perhaps, his conscience has been fighting with him for being one of those who caused the failure of Jonathan by not propagating his achievement well through the exalted office he held and has decided to make amend by naming his daughter ‘Ebele’ after him, in secret atonement for his failures.

Apart from posting against Buhari which many of us have done and still doing, what has been Reno’s contribution to nation building? What is his scorecard as an aide to Jonathan? Where is his impact in his Delta community where he comes from as a presidential aide, even though I agree that he was inconsequential in the government?

With a nation of mostly social media illiterates who believes anything from people like Reno, caused by our general hatred for Buhari, it is easy to see Reno as a hero for ‘fighting’ from United Kingdom not the USA like he mostly claims. His righteousness in being with only one wife is known all over the social media but this will be busted soon.

Unlike Reno Bemigho Omokri, who became known after Buhari won election, Natasha Akpoti came into national consciousness when she began to campaign against the privatization of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, calling for its revival by the Federal Government.

On many occasion, she has called out the Indians for killing the steel company and insisted that the Federal Government should run it in partnership with the Russian company, a campaign which was agreed to by the Federal Government and yielding fruit today.

Is it the same Natasha Akpoti who appeared before the House of Reps on 9th March 2018 to address the nation on the true state of the Ajaokuta Steel that Reno claims he has never heard of? Is it the same Natasha who ran for Kogi governorship election and when she was denied ticket in the primary decided to run for senate which held Kogi spellbound that an unknown Reno claimed he has never heard of? Natasha is to Kogi politics what late Mama Taraba is to Taraba politics. We may not like Natasha as common with human nature to dislike what we mostly cannot be, but her honor due to her should be freely given to her.

Those who know Reno can attest that he likes to be involved in the scheme of thing if he is allowed. The Reno we know will not miss any important event like the banquet honor of the former Kenya President, Jomo Kenyatta when Jonathan was President, not with his position as the social media aide.

When Natasha accused him of casually making passes at her during the banquet after Reno called out one of her mentees, who commented jokingly on his post, I believed her. How many men will see Natasha and not flirt harmlessly with her? What is so special about Reno and his supposed flirting with Natasha that he had to his innocent ‘wife’ into social media jokes and comments? Like Reno, Natasha is a lawyer who will not make such allegations if it never happened.

Reno claimed to have left Nigeria 28th April 2014 and returned on 23rd June 2014. For frequent travelers or even a first time traveler, the immigration stamp shown on passport as you leave bears the abbreviation of SOD meaning ‘seen on departure’, while the abbreviation of SOA meaning ‘seen on arrival’ is stamped on the passport on one’s return back to the country.

In the course of scrutinizing Reno’s stamped passport, I realized that his old Wendell Simlin ways was back as he apparently doctored the passport. In Reno’s stamp of 23rd June which he claimed to be his date of arrival, the stamp seen on it is SOD, meaning he departed Nigeria on that date. On the upper stamp of his passport was boldly written 23rd July 2014 with the SOA imprinted, meaning Omokri arrived Nigeria on July and not June like he deceived the public.

What this simply means is that Reno was at the Villa for the reception held for the former Kenya President.
Shall we dig further?

A close look at the stamp shown on Reno’s passport by the USA to prove his acclaimed entry showed that what he had was a parole stamp or a parole visa that’s meant for those on watch list, those not free to stay in the US without being watched closely by the US. What crime could Reno have committed to be monitored by the US? The NIS stamp is the only seal that proves and disproves any claim by Reno and they will not make the silly mistake.

His claim that his lawyers advise him not to post the stamp pages are after thoughts. Reno is a lawyer himself and needs no legal advice to withhold such. Just like he had no aide who googled Natasha to him, so also he has no lawyer who advised him. How a man who is always with his phone will need an aide to google a popular name in the Nigeria political sector tells us the manner of man Reno is, a man who plays mind games with gullible internet users.

He has made an offer of $50,000 to anyone who can get a picture of him during the banquet. Two things the offer is meant to achieve are: people will believe that Reno Omokri is rich and secondly send people on a wild goose chase, a chase which only he can achieve. $50,000 is equivalent of N29.5 million, no thanks to President Buhari clueless policy that has made our Naira useless.

With the many political figures he has duped while claiming to be fighting Buhari’s government, he can conveniently but painfully pay such if any Nigerian is able to get such pictures but he knows it’s not possible. Firstly, the social media in Nigeria wasn’t this strong with enough user presence like we have now, where everyone is now a blogger on the go. Secondly, social media aides are not recognized in the scheme of things during political and diplomatic events for anyone to take pictures of them. It’s like Tolu Ogunlesi who is Buhari’s new media aide telling Nigerians to look for a picture of him during an event in the villa. Of course, Tolu will be there but played no role that will warrant anyone giving him attention. Nobody will go on a Gulder ultimate search for Reno’s picture!

Reno owes Nigeria these two demands: Who owns Dayspring Christian Academy that is constantly paying him money into his GTB account number 52621339**? He should come live on Facebook and Instagram with the same passport showing those stamps and display the entire pages. This is not too much to ask, that we may truly know that Natasha indeed lied against him and his saintly robe remains unstained. Until this is done, Reno Omokri should not make mockery of Christ who said “thou shall not lie”.

As usual, he will throw the political language of being sponsored by the APC and northern Nigerian politicians for his online criticism of Buhari’s government as if he has called out the government than most of us living in Nigeria, facing the hardship, yet not afraid of the security agencies when we call out the government for its ineptitude; while he hides away in Europe behind the keypad, knowing that those are the emotional tools to blackmail Nigerians with.

When men and women of honor talk, Reno Bemigho Omokri aka Wendell Simlin should take his pen and paper to learn from them and not propagate the ‘author of best-selling book’, that is not seen in any library across the world but in his bedroom. I come in peace.

These little things matter.

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